Coronavirus or also known as COVID 19 is now a pandemic that’s well and truly widespread around the world. With more than 1.92 million confirmed cases of infected people across the globe, everyone needs to do their part to slow down the spread of the virus. One of the best ways to inhibit the spread of COVID 19 is by wearing face masks.
Let’s take a look at a few important reminders on how to use a face mask as well as how you can rig up a DIY face mask of your own if you need to.
A Few Tips on Wearing Face Masks During the Coronavirus Outbreak
COVID-19, as we understand it at the moment, seems to be able to infect its victims through droplets. These droplets are released from an infected person and these droplets can stay airborne for some time.
Inhaling these droplets is thus a common route of infection. The virus can then get transported into your lungs, where it could trigger severe respiratory illness.
How to Wear Face Masks
Wearing a face mask can go a long way towards mitigating the risk of COVID-19 infections. When combined with proper social distancing, wearing face masks can significantly slow down the spread of this virus.
While face masks do help minimize the risk of infection, they would be ineffective if proper wearing procedures are not observed. To maximize the protection you can get from face masks, here are tips on how you should wear them.:
- The first thing to remember on how to wear masks is to them with the colored side facing outside. The blue or green side of a face mask is typically waterproof and can protect you from droplets.
- Make sure that the mask is covering your whole nose and mouth. Stretch the mask to make sure it covers the lower part of your face.
- Once the mask is properly covering your mouth and nose, simply pinch the metal part on your nose bridge to completely secure the mask in place.
- Observe proper handling of used face masks. As much as possible should, you should be handling a used face mask by holding it by the side or the straps. Avoid touching the middle part of the mask because droplets could be trapped on that part of the mask’s surface
- Thoroughly sanitize your hand after handling a used face mask. Wash your hands using soap and water, or use alcohol if that is not available. Clean your hands immediately after disposing of your mask
- It’s advisable to wear a face mask only for as long as eight hours of continuous wear. Bring an extra one if you are going to be outside for a longer period of time than that.
When to Use Face Masks
It should be also noted that there is no urgent need for everyone to wear a mask all the time. While recommendations may vary from one region to the next, the World Health Organization (WHO) has offered a rational recommendation for the use of face masks.
The WHO currently advises people to make sure they are wearing face masks in two specific situations.
- If you are taking care of someone who has respiratory symptoms
- If you yourself have respiratory symptoms such as dry cough, sore throat, and fever
Outside of those two situations, people should use face masks with rational considerations and only if supplies allow for it. Some people should be given priority when it comes to the use of face masks.
Older adults and those with underlying conditions, for example, should wear face masks whenever they are available.
Aside from wearing face masks, people also need to practice pandemic hygiene to further slow the spread of the disease. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water, and avoid touching your face. Practice safe social distancing when outside.
However, the best way to slow down the spread of COVID-19 is still by staying at home.
If you do need to go outside in order to shop for supplies, it is advisable to keep wearing a face mask to minimize the risk of being infected. A face mask may not be able to 100% protect you from the spread of the virus.
Wearing a face mask can at least block droplets that carry COVID-19. Conversely, your face mask can also block droplets from your mouth and nose and prevent most of them from getting airborne and possibly transmitting the virus, if you happen to be a carrier yourself.
DIY Face Masks: How to Make a Homemade Face Mask from Common Items
Since the spread of COVID-19, surgical face masks, and other PPE are in short supply. So If there are no face masks available on your home or at your local supply stores, what can you use to protect yourself?
You can use cloth masks as well as long as it is thick enough to block droplets. Your DIY cloth face mask would not be as effective as a medical face mask, usually because it is not waterproof. Despite that, homemade face masks are still better than nothing when it comes to droplet protection.
Moreover, you can combine the use of DIY face masks with the use of medical masks to extend your supply of personal protective equipment at home.
You can create your home-made cloth mask using common household items. Here’s how to make your own bandana face mask.
- Lay your bandana flat on a table and fold the first and second half to the center
- After folding the two halves, flip the whole bandana and repeat the same process.
- After folding, place two rubber bands on the two sides and fold the excess sides to the center. Your bandana should now resemble a face mask.
- After wearing, make sure to wash the item immediately.
Given that face masks play a very important role in keeping yourself safe from the virus, masks also give a false sense of security to its wearer, according to medical experts. They’ve expressed concern over constant usage of face masks by the general public because it can lead to complacency.
Face masks may also pose a risk since wearers tend to adjust their masks while wearing it which would then help in spreading the virus, as well.
A Trying Time for All
This is, indeed, a trying time for everyone. Homeowners within HOAs should work together to make sure that their communities remain safe and healthy. The HOA board also has its own share of duties and responsibilities during this time. If you need help with managing your HOA during this crisis, just give us a call.
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